AUSTIN – Today, Foundation policy analyst Jeanette Moll testified in favor of HB 1512, which would allow the use of victim/offender conferencing in the Texas criminal justice system for the first time. This process allows the victims of crimes to meet the offender in a controlled, safe environment to confront them about their crime and obtain restitution or other recompense directly from the offender.

In other jurisdictions where victim/offender mediation has been used, research shows that 89% of agreements were successfully completed, 79% of victims were satisfied and 72% of such programs reduced recidivism by an average of 7%. These numbers prove the power of utilizing such a program, as Moll indicated in her testimony today.

In fact, these rates far exceed the rates of restitution paid and victim satisfaction obtained following formal justice system processes. Marc Levin, the Foundation’s Director of the Center for Effective Justice said, “Victim/offender mediation programs are effective in reducing recidivism, cutting costs and satisfying the victims of crimes. That is why the Foundation supports such programs and why we testified in favor of HB 1512 this afternoon.”

The companion bill (SB 1237) recently passed unanimously out of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee. We urge the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee to pass HB 1512 to the full House of Representatives as soon as possible.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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